IFC, securities regulator join forces to strengthen corporate governance

In a move aimed at helping to attract more foreign investment, the International Finance Corporation and Myanmar’s securities regulator have signed a deal to strengthen corporate governance standards.

“A better regulated market will bolster investor confidence and help draw more investment to Myanmar as the country continues to open up,” the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar, said in a joint statement.

A memorandum of understanding signed on March 17 provides for the IFC to help the commission build capacity by giving corporate governance training and sharing best practices on issues such as disclosure and investor rights, the statement said.

The IFC will also help the commission to review regulations that may be drafted to strengthen corporate governance regulatory standards, it said. There would also be a series of public events to help raise awareness of corporate governance.

“With the Yangon Stock Exchange in its early stages of operation, it is high time to introduce good corporate governance practices in the Myanmar market,” said Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance, U Maung Maung Win, the commission’s chairman.

“The cooperation between IFC and the commission is a great step forward in that direction.”

“Implementing good corporate governance practices is a prerequisite to the development of a more mature and robust capital market,” said Mr Jingdong Hua, IFC vice president and treasurer. “Well-run companies will generate greater returns for shareholders and contribute to

the sustainable development of Myanmar’s private sector and overall economy.”

The statement said that many Myanmar companies had rudimentary control frameworks and could benefit from adopting international corporate governance practices.

The Yangon Stock Exchange was established in December 2015 and securities trading began in March last year. Four companies are listed, but more are preparing to list.